Home Tour: Inside the Sydney Home of Asian Style Icon Bonnae Gokson
In the morning, natural light bathes this cosy two-bedroom, 212sqm pied-à-terre in Sydney’s harbourside eastern suburb. Boats that glide back and forth over the waters of Rushcutters Bay and a stunning view of the park foreground the beautiful skyline as well as the iconic Harbour Bridge and the Opera House nearby. At sunset, a dramatic burst of orange and red hues peek through the apartment’s large picture windows. C’est la vie for Bonnae Gokson who calls this light-filled nest something that brings her “joy and a lot of rest and comfort”.
“At dusk, it’s the most beautiful place to...pour a glass of champagne for myself, while watching the opalescent skies as it turns orange and red”— Bonnae Gokson
The homey apartment is situated at the heart of one of Australia’s most exclusive and prestigious addresses, a few homes away from where Hollywood royalties Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise used to live. “It’s actually very different from Hong Kong, no matter what. [My place is a] very exclusive little spot. It’s in a rare position,” Gokson explains.
The spacious layout showcases a sumptuous living area, where one can freely lounge and enjoy the unhurried life. A muted palette of grey and white create a soothing ambience that invites one to just sit back and relax while enjoying the sweeping vistas from the sun-drenched terrace that is seamlessly connected to the living area. This spot is a favourite venue for intimate or large-scale soirees by day or by night. “Australia is very well known for the brightness of weather. When you see blue skies in Australia, it’s true blue. It is a very beautiful place to wake up to,” says Gokson.
During the day, she would sometimes enjoy observing colourful cockatoos that would come in, or simply stare at the stillness of the sailboats parked by the harbour. “At dusk, it’s the most beautiful place to entertain [guests] or even pour a glass of champagne for myself, while watching the opalescent skies as it turns orange and red,” she enthuses. In colder months, the state-of-the-art fireplace in the living room cocoons one with warmth and beckons to stay for a drink or two. Cushions in a panoply of textures and accessories in bold colours accentuate the space; framed artworks and décor line the rather mundane white walls. “[When I am here], I frequent the flower markets often and the home will be filled with flowers always.”
Gokson, who came from a family that owns a retail empire in Hong Kong, has been shuttling between continents, frequenting Sydney as well as Hong Kong where she has been juggling her businesses—the uber-chic restaurant and lounge Sevva, casual café-bar C’est La B and Ms B’s Cakery, which introduced exquisitely handcrafted sugar art that raised the bar for cake culture in Hong Kong. “No matter where I would fly in from, this home has given me such beauty, tranquility, and joy. It’s a small pad for me to chill and rest when I visit my German naturopath doctor each year,” the lady of the home shares.
She is also an author of two books titled Butterflies and All Things Sweet and Weddings, Butterflies and The Sweetest Dreams released in 2013 and 2018 respectively.
The palatial master suite is decked with furnishings in muted tones and meticulously selected furniture pieces—a space that befits the queen of the home. Crystal-clear glass partitions divide the opulent en suite bathroom, also dressed in white marble, where one can indulge in a warm, relaxing bath after a long day. Like the rest of the home, the master suite and the master bathroom are flooded with natural light that peeks through floor-to-ceiling windows. The boutique-style mirrored dressing room reflects the style maven’s refined taste in fashion and in life. The second room, which was turned into a posh home office, extends to a private sunlit balcony just enough for one to breathe fresh air amidst a busy day.
While the home is accessible from the bustling business district, time on this side of the world runs slow, giving residents the chance to recharge and to cope with the fast-paced city life. As a sweet bonus, living in this apartment is like sitting in the front row where one has the best vantage point of the outside world.